The Australian High commissioner to Ghana has commissioned and handed over an ICT Resource and empowerment center to the chiefs and people of Ayensuano district in Eastern Region to fix the ICT gab and curb high teenage pregnancy.

The 2019 statistics made a startling reality in Ayensuano District – out of 82 basic schools, only twelve sit ICT subjects in Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) due to an absence of computers.

Teachers, driven by determination, resorted to using personal laptops and mobile phones for instruction.

In terms of health, in 2019, the district recorded 437 teenage pregnancy cases, and in 2020, it reported 360 cases, marking it as the second-highest in 2020 among the 33 districts in the Eastern region.

Responding to these crises, Ark Development Organization (ADO), a nonprofit organization designed the Kraboa Coaltar Resource and Empowerment Center project.

This initiative, funded by the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Program (DAP) comprises an ICT unit, library, sexual reproductive health corner, adolescent classroom, community information center, counseling unit, and informal education unit.

Handing over the facility, Australian High Commissioner H.E Berenice Owen-Jones expressed optimism about this project, one of 12 funded under the DAP grant scheme supporting community-led development projects across multiple countries in West Africa.

She said the project aim is to bridge the ICT gap and combat the alarming rates of teenage pregnancy in the district.

She stressed on a UNICEF report that main barrier to equitable chance for adolescent girls in life is multiple violations of their sexual and reproductive health and rights, ranging from sexual cohesion, and violence to early pregnancy and child marriage.

“The Coaltar Resource and Empowerment center will help address this knowledge gap by making available the information adolescent girls require to make well informed reproductive health decisions. Decisions that will enable them to stay longer in school and enjoy an improved quality of life.”

H. E Berenice Owen-Jones commended the Executive Director of Ark Development organization, Emmanuel Kwarfo Mintah for judiciously using a small grant to bring the project into fruition.

The Ayensuano District Director of Education Rev. Alexander Nathan Amanda highlighted the center’s ICT laboratory, designed to benefit all basic schools for practicals and alleviate teachers from relying on personal devices.

District Chief Executive, Josephine Awuku,Teddy Safori Addi, Member of Parliament, chiefs, and citizens rallied together, generously donating computers, laptops, hair dryers, and sewing machines to furnish the center.

However, the Executive Director of Ark Development Organization, Emmanuel Kwarfo Mintah, said more computers, air conditioners and furniture are needed to fully furnish the facility.

Source: Ghana/ Ansah